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Lewis Wolpert

Michael Berkeley's guest is scientist Lewis Wolpert, who selects his favourite pieces of music. His choices include Noel Coward, Frank Sinatra, a late Beethoven quartet and Wagner.

Lewis Wolpert is a distinguished scientist -and a familiar lanky figure on his bicycle, cycling through the Bloomsbury traffic to University College London where he is Emeritus Professor of Biology.

His scientific research has been into the early development of the embryo, but he's a man with many other interests ? he's written books about depression, and recently a book about getting old ? and he's currently bravely embarking on a book about the biological differences between the brains of men and women.

He talks to Michael Berkeley about the happiness he feels in his eighties, and about his early life, and his decision to leave South Africa where he was brought up to be a 'nice Jewish boy'. His choices are wide-ranging: from Noel Coward and Frank Sinatra to a late Beethoven Quartet and Wagner.

Producer: Elizabeth Burke.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Béla Bartók

    String Quartet no. 1 (1st movement: Lento)

    Ensemble: Talich Quartet.
  • Richard Wagner

    Gotterdammerung (Siegfried's Death and Funeral March)

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic. Conductor: Klaus Tennstedt.
  • Noël Coward

    Mad Dogs and Englishmen

    Singer: Noël Coward.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Le Nozze di Figaro (Sull'aria... che soave zeffiretto)

    Singer: Véronique Gens. Singer: Patrizia Ciofi. Orchestra: Concerto Köln. Conductor: René Jacobs.
  • George Gershwin

    Embraceable You (Nice'n'Easy)

    Singer: Frank Sinatra.
  • Frederick Loewe

    A Hymn to Him (My Fair Lady)

    Singer: Rex Harrison. Singer: Wilfrid Hyde-White.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Quartet in B flat, Op.130 (3rd mvt: Andante con moto ma non troppo)

    Ensemble: Lindsay String Quartet.


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